In the past couple of weeks, Poole locals have noticed several Super-Yachts using the ‘Lay-by’ at the harbour.
The Port Harbour Commissioners (PHC) have since confirmed that these boats are free to stop in the harbour as part of their statutory open port policy.
Off charter super yachts with only crew on board are considered commercial vessels and are being given lay-by provisions during the COVID-19 crisis.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Charter Market has dried up and several vessels need a place to berth.
The PHC has reassured the public that vessels stopping at the harbour are either only there to refuel or until the Market reopens and pose no risk to the local community.
There is currently an 83 meter super yacht on Town Quay and for more vessels are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
Captain Brian Murphy, Harbour Master for the PHC has reminded the public of the current law, saying: “The captain of a visiting ship must submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) if a crew member, or guest on board is showing any signs of illness.
“But, in these unprecedented times, like many other ports across the country during this national pandemic, we are insisting that all vessels submit an MDH for every arrival, including nil returns.”
Murphy continues, saying: “Once here, they [crew members]will remain on board to protect the local community as well as themselves. They should have plenty of supplies on board, if not they will be provided by their normal specialist suppliers, therefore will have no impact on the availability of goods in the local area”.
The PHC are also working closely with Public Health England to ensure their workforce, visitors and families are following the Governments guidance on the coronavirus.